7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 11, 2009 10:23 AM by TSGal

    Help --  PHONEBK error!



      Help --  PHONEBK error!



      Was hoping someone could help -- the computer crashed. It was restarted but had problems opening Filemaker  -- the Main Menu file had been corrupted (but was repaired using Recover) and though Filemaker seems to be working fine in every other aspect now, nothing happens when I click on the Phone Book.  When I try to open the specific Phone Book file I receive an error message that says "PONEBK was not created by Filemaker or is severely damaged and cannot be opened."  So all our phone numbers and information are inaccessible?  I hope there's a way to retrieve the information.


      I have Filemaker 6.0v4 and I'm working on a Vista Operating System with Filemaker networked on two computers.  To my knowledge we do not have a backup.


      Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!!

        • 1. Re: Help --  PHONEBK error!

          You recovered "main menu". Did you also attempt to recover PHONEBK?


          That appears to be a separate file from "main menu".


          Even when recover reports that it successfully repaired your file, it's far from guaranteed that the recovered file isn't still damaged. The first priority of the recover process is to modify your file to the point where you can rescue your data by importing it into a back up copy of your file. Some times that requires hacking away damaged parts of your file that define layouts/scripts or other parts of your file. This is especially true of the older version that you are using. (Think of Recover as using electronic "Jaws of Life" to rescue your data even if it has to tear apart your database file to do so.)


          Rule number 1: Always make lot's of back up copies.

          Rule number 2: Never use a file that had to be recovered. Import your data into an undamaged copy from Rule #1.

          • 2. Re: Help --  PHONEBK error!

            Hi -- Thank you for your response!  Unfortunately the recover option did not work for the PHONEBK file and I received the same error message.



            It turns out that we never used the "exit" button to close the program so no backups were ever created.  :(


            But thanks for your advice!

            • 3. Re: Help --  PHONEBK error!

              Hi again,

              I am still encountering the same difficulty with Filemaker -- I can't access the phonebook.  I have received NO useful technical support from FileMaker, who referred me to their Knowledgebase.  I found one entry in the Knowledgebase which says to "save as compacted copy" in FileMaker Pro Advanced or FileMaker Developer -- does anyone how would I get either of those in order to attempt this?  Is there a trial I can download?


              The help file also suggests reestabilishing the indexes, but I can't find any Define Database entry on my File Menu, and don't know how to get into the pure "database" anyway. 


              I'm lost!  And my bosses are getting agitated!

              • 4. Re: Help --  PHONEBK error!

                You may be out of luck here if you don't have any back up copies of the file.


                Just to make sure, did you do the following?


                Launch FIlemaker.

                Select File | Recover...

                Locate PHONEBK file and click the select button

                Save your new recovered file copy


                What report (if any) did you get back after the recover process completed?


                Did you try to open the new recovered copy or is there any chance you were still attempting to open the original file?


                If you've done all the above steps and still can't get the file to open, you may be stuck with a damaged file that cannot be repaired sufficiently to open it.

                • 5. Re: Help --  PHONEBK error!


                  Thanks again for your response.  I have tried several times to "recover" the PHONEBK file (even though the program does not suggest it as it did with other files).  It does not even get as far as to save as Recovered.  It simply closes and repeats the same original error message, which is "PHONEBK was not created by FileMaker or is severely damaged and cannot be opened."


                  Unfortunately I am pretty sure we do not have a backup copy.  However it appears we do have older "Get Physical" versions from a couple years ago.  We would be missing at least 2 years worth of data, but as a last resort can one of those files be used?


                  Is there any way to extract the information from the corrupted file or try to save it as a compacted copy?

                  • 6. Re: Help --  PHONEBK error!
                       "Save as compacted" can be used as a repair technique short of actually recovering the file. You have to be able to open the file before you can do this. Since you can't open it and you can't recover it, you're probably out of luck. :smileysad:
                    • 7. Re: Help --  PHONEBK error!



                      The Recover command is not a panacea.  FileMaker Pro will do its best to take the file and recover it.  If the file is badly damaged so that FileMaker cannot understand it, then the Recover will not complete.  Your only solution at this point would be to find a an older copy and reenter.  That would save you some time from recreating the file from scratch.



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